January 20, 2012
I thought I told you to leave me
While I walked down to the beach
Tell me how does it feel
When your heart grows cold?
An angled plane of green light swept over the still contours of her face; it could have passed for a human woman’s, and a beautiful one at that, were it not for the strong blue colour of her skin, touched with a gentle purplish sheen along the cheekbones and above the brow. The wide, lambent red eyes were closed, creating an illusion of serenity that was quite alone in the cold, precise chaos of the room. Two medi-droids employed their many limbs and instruments cutting incisions, spraying fresh cells into burns and contusions, manipulating and setting broken bones and pumping into her veins the analgesics that kept her so still, so silent.
“You don’t do Sith jobs, do you, Eul’yara’kolia?”
Small for a Chiss, she had to bounce a little in her step to match paces with Keeper, an older human male of substantial intelligence and verve. The greying hair at his temples provoked an instinctive respect she couldn’t quite stifle, though she knew it was quite common in humans. It wasn’t the miracle it seemed amongst her people, who were uniformly ebon-tressed, with the appearance of grey strands denoting the siring of an exceptional child or children. Still, it didn’t seem that unlikely. For all his age, Keeper retained intellectual and physical capabilities that many a younger agent could spend their life envying. That he might have sired a few pink-skinned offspring to inherit those traits didn’t seem impossible.
He was also kind; at least, as kind as an Imperial Intelligence handler could be. He’d taught her well to clear her head and purge her feelings, but what warmth she retained had settled solidly on Keeper as a father-figure. She skipped again to catch up.
“Working directly with the Sith. You’ve been avoiding it. Can’t say I blame you, but it’s been noticed. So I’m giving you an assignment before Darth Imagus does.”
It took him a few paces more to realize she wasn’t breathing, her eyes blank as she focused on some internal debate. He stopped and handed her a dossier. “House Taiva. It’s run by a Twi’lek, very far from the conservative, pureblood Houses, but potentially valuable all the same. And should keep you out of trouble, at least enough to keep Master Kargas…. and me… happy.”
She took the datapad from him with a forceps snip of stiffened fingers. It was a mantra among old agents: “Don’t work with Sith.” They were all bone crazy, every single one.
The faintest hint of a smirk twisted her lips. “Don’t worry, sir. I didn’t want to live forever anyway.”
When you’d your hands upon me
And told me who you are
I thought I was mistaken
I thought I heard your words
Tell me, how do I feel?
Voices, distorted and incomprehensible, swelled and withered in and out of her awareness like great clouds of blackened sound. Splotches of light eddied across the inside of her eyelids. She thought she felt a touch on her face for a moment, the ghostly warmth of fingers that would never touch her again. Her throat constricted, the brutal force of emotion startling her; it was a grief, an ache that she’d thought long since dwindled away.
“Please… Please don’t go, Daddy. Please don’t leave me again.”
The world was empty; there was nothing to answer her silent prayer and such foolish dreams were for children. In the space of a heartbeat, she was sitting up, forcing her eyes open, parsing the blurred image of a white room by force of logic and guesswork when her eyes refused to adapt fast enough to suit her. A scalpel blade swiped from a nearby tray and tucked into her palm prepared her for the worst but slowly returning vision showed her no immediate threats. She gave a smug, sardonic smile for the medi-droids as she slipped out of bed and forced herself to stand.
She told herself she didn’t feel the pain. Not from her wounds, not from the repairs, not from anything. There was no past. Only today.
“Did I happen to have any visitors while I was asleep?”
He’d kissed her. Parried a lightsabre strike that would have taken her head off along with his, then kissed her. Why had he kissed her? Why had he tried to save her life while she tried to kill him? Why had he tried to save her life and then guaranteed its ending by sticking his tongue down her throat?
His facial tendrils had tickled against her skin, the sensation vivid in her memory.
The lightning had burned. An equally clear recollection, strong enough to make a wince ripple across the indolent mask of her features.
The purebloods in House Taiva had been looking for an excuse to get rid of her and Hesadryt had handed it to them. Her collaboration in the twins’ execution might have set her straight with her superiors but that kiss could have queered everything.
If she’d just had another 24 hours, everything could have been so much better. She’d had it all figured out. Hesadryt, Avarox, Mahal and most importantly, the Matron – everything would have clicked, if it wasn’t for one horny twit with an assault cannon. And now she looked like a traitor herself.
“Inquisitor Sha’tar of House Taiva was here approximately two hours ago.”
The droid’s voicebox was still synthesizing the last syllable when she jumped out of the window.
I see a ship in the harbour
I can and I shall obey
But if it wasn’t for your misfortune
I’d be a heavenly person today.
[Lyrics: “Blue Monday” by New Order.]